Team Olafson is coming off an impressive showing in Altona.
The group of Portage curlers consisting of Colton Olafson (skip), Tristan Blight (second), Hunter Jefferies (lead), and Nolan Ross (third) went on a three-match win streak last weekend at the Provincial U18 Curling Championships. They fell just short of the playoff rounds but Olafson says the team is proud of the effort they put forth.
"I'm really happy with our performance. Obviously, it's not the result we wanted but I really liked how we played. We definitely improved from last year."
The skip notes it was fun to be able to pick up three straight victories, and he adds they went into every contest believing they were going to win. Olafson believes they will be primed to win the entire event next year.
Team Olafson will not be slowing down as they are gearing up for a high-profile event in their home arena.
"We have the U21 provincials in Portage la Prairie. We're hoping to get some experience out of that one, which starts on January 17."
The four curlers in the group are all just 16 years old, so they will be up against teams that are much older than them but Olafson says they've already played in six tournaments at the U21 level.
"Sometimes it's intimidating but we love playing against tough competition and the experience you get out of it."
Getting the opportunity to take part in a provincial tournament in your hometown is a pretty rare opportunity that Olafson will not be taking for granted.
"I'm very excited about that. To play at home is really neat. This will be the first big bonspiel I've played in Portage."
He believes they will have a bit of a home-ice advantage.
"I think we'll have a bigger advantage because we've played on that rink a lot of times. We practice on it at least once a week, twice maybe. So, we definitely have an advantage going in."
With the first bonspiel of 2023 in the books and the second on the horizon, Olafson describes where he wants to be by the time 2024 rolls around.
"One year from now, I hope to tell you that we are getting a chance to play in the nationals."